Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The rise of Kilcullen and the COINdinistas

An Air Force pilot explains why he found the rise of counterinsurgency specialists in the U.S. military over the last couple of years personally and professionally reassuring: My love affair with the COIN community began when the dissidents took over the Iraq war, and I realized they actually knew what they were doing. After years ...

587236_090401_David_KilcullenB2.jpg
587236_090401_David_KilcullenB2.jpg

An Air Force pilot explains why he found the rise of counterinsurgency specialists in the U.S. military over the last couple of years personally and professionally reassuring:

My love affair with the COIN community began when the dissidents took over the Iraq war, and I realized they actually knew what they were doing. After years of growing disillusionment with some of my leaders, I finally found a community of competent, intelligent military professionals I could trust. I can't overstate how important that was to me personally. Over the past year I've been drawn deeper and deeper into the COIN community. I follow its blogs, read its recommended books, and study the debates among of its members. The contributions of this community are extraordinary and I am constantly learning from it.

An Air Force pilot explains why he found the rise of counterinsurgency specialists in the U.S. military over the last couple of years personally and professionally reassuring:

My love affair with the COIN community began when the dissidents took over the Iraq war, and I realized they actually knew what they were doing. After years of growing disillusionment with some of my leaders, I finally found a community of competent, intelligent military professionals I could trust. I can’t overstate how important that was to me personally. Over the past year I’ve been drawn deeper and deeper into the COIN community. I follow its blogs, read its recommended books, and study the debates among of its members. The contributions of this community are extraordinary and I am constantly learning from it.

He warns the COINdinistas against getting too cocky and insular. I don’t think that is really a problem, as there are still many people in the military establishment who want them to go away so the armed forces can get back to real soldiering.

You can see judge for yourself at the COIN Woodstock being held tonight (Wednesday) by CNAS at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. — but please note that registration is required. David Kilcullen and his band take the stage at 6 pm.

U.S. Army image

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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